South Park – Going Native

Butters has always been a mild-mannered and thoroughly nice little boy, so it’s a surprise when Cartman storms into the school canteen to announce that he’s just beaten up a kid with diabetes.  He’s then locked himself in the toilets and when the guys go to talk to him, he’s angrier and feistier than he normally is, telling Kyle that he’s not always right, that Stan thinks the world revolves around him, and that Cartman is selfish.  He also says they don’t have the guts to tell Jimmy that his jokes aren’t funny, but claims Kenny is the only one with any dignity.

After a dramatic pause, Cartman of course completely misses the point, wondering if, since Butters and Kenny are best friends, it they’re going to make out.  This enrages Butters further, and he tells Cartman that for once he’s not going to let him get the last word in.  It’s a nice change up to see Butters sticking up for himself and having a more aggressive attitude, but the explanation for his change and what happens in the episode after that doesn’t really work, and as a result this is the worst episode (but maybe not a terrible one) since the show came back on the air.

It turns out that Butters was born in Hawaii, and his parents lived there for a time before moving to South Park (They pronounce is Ha-vie-ee), so Butters must return to Hawaii to go through a rights of passage-type ceremony, where he will learn to control his anger and become a man.  Cartman joins the kids while they are playing basketball, and tells them that he saw Butters getting on a bus to go to Hawaii, but after his earlier outbursts, no-one wants to help him, so the boys send a reluctant Kenny after him.  Kenny arrives at the airport to find Butters in tears; his angry attitude means he hasn’t been allowed to board the flight, but Kenny persuades the lady at the ticket desk to let them both go.

The basic riff once Butters and Kenny arrive in Hawaii is this; Americans who have regularly been visiting Hawaii, or have recently moved there, claim to be ‘native’ Hawaiians (two of them later argue about their ‘ancestry’, which dates back as far as 9 months ago), having come to Hawaii since the days of ‘The King’ (Elvis).  So they view mainland Americans as outsiders, and have a distrust of them as a result, which makes Kenny a potential threat despite Butters vouching for him.

The ‘natives’ end up on the brink of war with mainland Americans, after their attempts to stop a cruise shop from docking gets out of hand thanks to a well placed golf shot from Butters kills the captain and sinks the ship.  Butters has gotten himself fired up before taking a swing by thinking about his hatred for Ben Affleck.  He can’t believe that he’s so talented, being married to Jennifer Lopez, being good looking AND being a good director (he admits that Argo is a great film even though he bad-mouthed it to his friends) but when he’s later told that Affleck is actually now married to Jennifer Garner, it seems to calm him.

It’s a very strange episode; although the idea of Butters having anger issues because he’s ‘from somewhere else’ seems to be a good one, how it’s played out doesn’t really work.  There have been worse episodes though, but this is a disappointment after three good ones to start this run.

 

Comment